After a divorce or break-up, financial support becomes a major issue for those couples with children. The law is pretty straightforward about a child support calculation, but there are a number of factors that will affect that outcome. When you are faced with paying child support or seeking child support, you should seek out advice from an experienced family law attorney.
Child Support isn't just a formula:
understanding how Cory Gallagher can help with modifications.
Many people going through a divorce or child custody situation in which child support is involved think that the support amount is determined by the courts through a formula and that both parties have no choice but to accept the outcome. However, this is only half true.
Depending on your state, there likely is a specific worksheet that the courts use to determine the
Initial child support obligation.
Influencing factors include:
how much both parents have been making, including any bonuses or overtime pay;
health insurance costs,
out-of-pocket medical expenses,
any childcare expenses; and who gets the federal tax exemption.
Once all these numbers have been plugged into the worksheet, it provides an initial amount for the child support. In almost every case, at least one party is unhappy with the outcome, but it's at this point that most simply throw their hands in the air and start muttering about the family courts. Rant if you must, but if you believe that the child support obligation is unfair or failed to take into consideration extenuating circumstances, take action.
Cory Gallagher is an invaluable resource when it comes to understanding your child support and how, if at all, it may be subject to change. Schedule an appointment by calling (720) 295-4434 to go over the papers from the child support enforcement agency and make sure you understand where the figures for each line came from.
For example, overtime and bonuses are usually averaged out based on the past couple of years. Data entry is subject to human error, and it never hurts to take another look at the numbers and make sure they match up with your expectations. If your attorney can't provide you with a list of factors that warrant an adjustment or makes you feel like you are asking stupid questions, you need another attorney.
In most states, you can request an administrative or court hearing to petition for an adjustment to the initial obligation. You may not be required to have legal representation at these hearings, but you should. Cory Gallagher is familiar with the judges and proceedings involved in these cases and can walk you through the process. This doesn't guarantee you will get the outcome you want, but gathering information and understanding your options helps you make an informed decision moving forward.
Contact my office at (720) 295-4434, or by email to set up an initial consultation. I know you probably have a number of questions. I will work to answer all your questions and implement a carefully developed strategy for moving forward.
Many clients come to me with questions about child support, including issues such as:
- Getting a new job
- Modification of income of either party
- The ex's new job or income
- Spousal maintenance and child support
- Increased living expenses
- Extracurricular activities
- Having additional children
- Modifications of existing orders
- Children's medical expenses
- Enforcement and collection issues
Whether you are looking to establish a child support amount or modify an existing order, I can help you navigate each step. Child support should be workable for everyone and it is often an ongoing process.
From my office in Centennial, Colorado, I serve family law clients throughout the Denver metro area.